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Detailing and Clone Folders

Not applicable
Ok so we are trying to come up with a good way to do detailing. The goal of which is to try to have all the detailing done in one drawing so that you can take separte views of said drawing but only have ot inupdate the information once. Let me first explain what the problems are when you are dealing with details whether they are plan details or section details.

Team members cannot redefine view sets. So they cannot change the display settings (true line weight to hairline) or even change the scale or turn on a layer. The biggest one is to change the scale since it affects the way the detail fits on your sheets. The only way to do all of the above is to sign in as team leader and ask everyone to sign out. This seriously affected our productivity. It's a big issue on a considerable sized project. So we looked at a way to not have to sign in as team leader and still find a way to allow team members to continue creating details and still have various scales.


Since there will be a need for details at various scales (at any particular area/ material junction) and the fact that Archicad does not allow you to have a detail within a detail (example: 1 1/2" scale detail and a blow up of it at 6")- there are two ways to set this up in ArchiCAD.

1. Have separate details set up for different scales and control them by layers by turning off the one you don't need to show at that particular scale or in plan. Then introduce a "fake" graphic symbol in the other scale to mark the blow-up detail.

2. To have a single detail set up to show information at various scales using the "Clone" folders and setting these up at various scales and layer combinations right at the beginning. This way you are drawing things only once.

CLONE METHOD - prefered for follwing reasons:

Pros of Cloned folders

Once a teamleader sets up a clone folder (eg. details) and sets up the scale, layer combination & display settings - any new detail that is created in project map after this by a team-mate gets replicated in each cloned folder and will get the above mentioned attributes automatically. So you have a view of teh same detail at various scales and we can set up the layers to either show or get turned off per the scale. This is an automated process and no one has to redefine anything once its set up. Team mates can work without interruption and all they have to ensure is to put the information on the right layers. If this were not a cloned folder, the team leader will have to sign in w/Exclusive access and set up each view after the team mate has created a detail and has signed out. Hence cloned folders enable team mates to work mostly-undisturbed in creating views at the same time.

For this to happen there are some layers that are common layers and thats what we draw information on so its only drawn once on the detail. For the text, dimensions and scale specific information - we created layers with names specific to scales and these are turned on and off based on the detail scale. If we set this up at the beginning, the process works really smooth. However.....

If details were already created in Project Map before creating a cloned folder for them - these particular details will need to be redefined individually/as a group and will not take on the properties of the cloned folder.

This method also ensures that you draw only once and see it at all different required scales. If we create details using Method 2 above - it will require us to update each detail individually with any changes that have occured. We prefered to do it only once in one location and see the result at all scales.

Team-mate access and cloned folders- There is a fear that if someone deletes a view in the cloned folder, it will delete the whole cloned view folder. Views cannot be deleted in Team-mate mode. This can only be done as a teamleader. ArchiCAD will not do it and gives a message to that effect. Hence the necessity to have as many sign in as team-mate and restrict Team Leader access to any model.

Another headache we have had is to track the view name vs project Map name of any drawing if the view folder is not cloned. Cloned folders keep track of name changes as long as the changes are done in Project Map. Although non-cloned view set folders are supposed to do the same - we found that to be inconsistent.
Cons of Cloned folders

Team Leader w/exclusive access danger - An entire cloned folder in a view set will get deleted if a single detail view within it is deleted. So the question is what happens if a team leader deletes a view ? - Yes the entire clone folder can be deleted. Firstly a team leader should know better than to delete views. Any drawing deletion has to happen in Project Map.

There are 3 steps you have to miss/neglect to implement a clone view deletion to maximum effect.

1.-ArchiCAD gives you a Warning saying deleting a view will delete the whole clone folder. That is your first sign/warning.
2.- If you miss the warning and click OK, the whole folder will vanish. This should warn an informed user that you just deletd a cloned folder.
3.-There is no undo command for this action but you can still retreive the folder and views - if you simply sign-out without saving changes. If you still manage to signout and send changes then the clone folder will just have a to be re-created and the layouts re-linked.The layouts do not get deleted in the meanwhile, they keep the last updated info till we re-link them to the re-created clone view folder.

All the more reason to have team-mate access more often and not allow non-BIM leaders team leader access.

Please let me know if you guys have any insight into a good way to do this, or if it is not clear what we are trying to do.


PivoArch wrote:
The only way to do all of the above is to sign in as team leader and ask everyone to sign out.
Why? The Team Leader can change the scale or layer combinations while other people are signed in. It might require a round of S&Rs, but no one needs to sign out or stop working.

I think a bigger question is why a team member needs to edit the layer combination being used in their detail. Did they pick the wrong one when they created it? Or does that detail require its own special layer combination? Are the people working on the details creating their own View definitions?
Tom Waltz

David Pacifico
Let me throw out another idea. Warning it comes at the problem from a different point of view.

3. Parametric Detail Object (It's dumb Archicad name is "Patch")
Draw the detail at the scale it's needs to be drawn at.
Menu Document/Create Patch
Use the Patch (Parametric Detail Object) for the other scales.

Put hotspots in the corners where you created the patch, incase you need to recreate it, becuase you will. When you do it will update all the other instances.

When you create the patch it will not take dimensions or text. It will recognize hotspots for placing the detail.
David Pacifico, RA
AC22 27", iMac i7, 32 gig Ram, 4 gig video Ram Build on our experience

I like to push a pre-linked template system wherever possible, using a subtractive methodology. Bottom line: create multiple details at different scales and link them into your layout book before any modeling is done. Simply cut and paste the detail markers into place when needed and delete unused details from your layout book. Everything references perfectly and appears predictably.

Similar deal for independent details, S/E's, camera views, plans, etc. Has proven extremely efficient for my clients.


Not applicable
I would be interested to know the biggest project you guys have worked on. Solutions to problems like these can depending on project and team size.

Rob speaks of a method that is born from the need to keep a team of 10 or more people productive in a very large project, while maintaining a secure and stable environment.

We could have the team spread across different floors in our New Jersey office and someone else working in Atlanta.

14 people in a single PLP on Archicad 8.1 (when viewsets were much less flexible in Teamwork than they are now).

I have yet to see why the situation exists to begin with. The problem he describes is inaccurate. The team does not need to sign out for the actions he wanted to perform. Nothing is stopping them from working while the Team Leader makes the necessary changes.

I would think a project of that size would want as few views defined as possible, not creating dozens that are not used (and cannot be deleted without taking out the whole folder!).

I think some of the problems Rob described could be better solved through planning and team discussion than an elaborate (and potentially confusing) workaround. The method he speaks of would probably not secure anything. More likely, I would expect that it would increase user error dramatically. I can imagine people working in views they expect to be at one scale when they are actually placed at another, or placing the detail from the wrong cloned folder.

I don't question that larger projects are more complicated at all. It's unfortunate that most problems on larger projects are due to the limitations of the Teamwork system, but they can usually be overcome by planning ahead and dicsussing what is needed with the people involved in the project.
Tom Waltz

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